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Stewart claims his first Atlanta pole

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Stewart claims his first Atlanta pole
By:
Sep 1, 2012, 12:20 AM

Amanda Vincent, NASCAR Correspondent

Advice from teammate Ryan Newman paid off for Tony Stewart on Friday, as Stewart used his teammate's advice to turn a 29.787-second lap around Atlanta Motor Speedway in his No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet on Friday to claim the pole starting spot for Sunday's AdvoCare 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at the track.

"That lap is 100 percent due to Ryan Newman," Stewart said of Newman telling him how to make his lap after making his own qualifying run. "If it weren't for him, we wouldn't be on the pole, probably."

Greg Biffle will start alongside Stewart on the front row on Sunday after posting a qualifying time of 29.863 seconds in the No. 16 Roush Fenway Racing Ford. Kyle Busch qualified third in the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota after a 29.888-second qualifying lap.

"It was quite a bit better than practice was," Biffle said of the handling of his car. "It sort of hurts, though, to qualify second like we did today."

Busch will be joined on the second row by Matt Kenseth, who posted a 29.916-second lap in the No. 17 Roush Fenway Racing Ford.

Joey Logano claimed the provisional pole early in the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota and remained atop the scoring pylon until he was knocked off by Mark Martin in the No. 55 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota. Logano wound up ninth, and Martin ended up sixth by the end of the qualifying session.

Jeff Gordon also spent some time as the provisional pole sitter before eventually being shuffled back to fifth by the end of qualifying.

"Just a solid lap," Gordon said of his 29.918-second lap. "Can't say it was the greatest lap."

Gordon held on to the top spot until Biffle claimed the provisional pole, only to be topped by Stewart.

This pole is the 14th of Stewart's career, but his first of the season and his first at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Forty-seven drivers attempted to claim the 43 spots on the starting grid for Sunday's race. Josh Wise, Stephen Leicht, Mike Bliss and Michael McDowell failed to make the race.

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